After an extensive period indoors, summer is in full swing. Residents across the Las Vegas Valley are lathering up in layers of sunscreen and excitedly bolting out of their homes to enjoy the great outdoors. And as the temperatures are high and our face masks come off, we begin to say goodbye to pandemic life and hello to adventure.
Our beautiful Red Rock area neighborhoods flourish with outdoor recreational enthusiasts participating in activities, from group cycling to collectively practicing Yoga on a warm summer evening. However, before we jump into our colorful spandex and athleisure, the Southern Nevada Bike Coalition (SNVBC) wants to remind our community of the importance of continuing to be vigilant of outside dangers concerning bike and pedestrian safety.
Founded in 2017 by former President and now Secretary Keely Brooks, the Southern Nevada Bicycle Coalition is a nonprofit organization that advocates the safety, education, and awareness of cyclists and pedestrians. Brooks, an enthusiast herself, was approached to create an advocacy group for cyclists. There was a need within the bike community to have a "seat at the table" to influence government officials and leaders while they planned the future of our city.
“Historically, urban planning has focused on getting cars from point A to point B in the fastest way possible,” said Brooks. “Without keeping the cyclists and pedestrians of the community in mind.”
The SNVBC represents the forgotten members of our community and advises leaders on how to build our cities. Since starting, the county has added hundreds of miles of bike lanes and additional bike infrastructure. For these reasons, the SNVBC has gained mass support among recreational communities.
Despite the efforts of the SNVBC, on December 10, 2020, a fatal incident between a motorist and numerous cyclists occurred. In response to their grief, SNVBC created a three-part educational campaign to help achieve their goal of zero collisions on Nevada’s roads.
SNVBC’s Campaign "Change Lanes for Bikes. It’s the Law!" and its initiatives revolve around teaming up with local and state law enforcement to raise awareness among motorists of Nevada. The first campaign: Change Lanes, raises awareness of Nevada's 3-Feet/Move Over Passing Law. The second and most recent, Ride Safe: Know Before You Go, identifies the Five Critical Points of Cyclist Safety. The third part of the campaign will roll out later this year.
“These educational campaigns are about awareness; we want Change Lanes to be at the forefront of everyone's mind," stated current SNVBC President Rob Hutchinson. "We have so many new cyclists out there; now is the time to keep Change Lanes in mind.”